David Goodman: tapas chef

20 Dec
David Goodman: runs Roman Bar &Grill, N7.

David Goodman: runs Roman Bar & Grill, N7.

Everyone has a story on the Islington Faces Blog.  Here’s how Londoner David Goodman started his own tapas place not far from Caledonian Road, N7. Interview by Nicola Baird.

David Goodman runs the Roman Tapas & Grill on a street corner close to Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Station that also boasts the Hemingford Arms* and the Fig restaurant*. He was brought up in Chelsea speaking both French and English. Then in his mid ’50s David decided to semi-retire and headed to Alicante in Spain. There he fell in love with tapas – the classic Spanish snack cuisine.  “I like the small portions, and the big variety of dishes,” he says simultaneously welcoming in a customer, and taking an order from a mum and her daughter for olives, rice and a glass of white rioja.

You’d think learning Spanish and how to cook tapas might keep you in sunny Spain, but David decided to come back to  London to run his own restaurant. The result is the Roman Tapas & Grill, which opened in 2010.

Evidence that food is good - empty plates as you study the dessert menu.

Evidence that food is good – empty plates as you study the dessert menu.

davidgoodman.menu“Islington is a nice place. I thought Roman Road was a good spot. We get high court judges, but I’m terrible with actors’ names so I can’t tell you which famous people eat here. Islington’s not snobby. It’s very welcoming here – I’m even planning a Christmas party for all the neighbours,” says David. And with that he gets back to the evening shift which should see many of his customers ordering chorizo (spicy sausage), goat cheese stack (queso de cabra gratinado) and patatas bravas (deep fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce). But the most popular dish at the moment is a dish David created, espresso ice cream.

“I like discovering new dishes and inventing dishes – I’ve been working on a beef stew too,” adds David. So if you want a taste of the Mediterranean, with some flawless cooking thrown in, the Roman Tapas & Grill may be the place to visit.

Roman Tapas & Grill, 1a Roman Way, London, N7 8XG, tel: 020 7609 8034


Hemingford Arms, 158 Hemingford Road, N1, tel: 020 7607 3303

Fig restaurant, 169b Hemingford Road, N1, tel: 020 7609 3009

Over to you
Can you cook tapas or do you prefer to eat it with friends at a restaurant in the Spanish style? If you have a tapas suggestion for David, please just add it below. By the way, if you’d like to feature on this blog, or make a suggestion about anyone who grew up, lives or works in Islington please let me know, via nicolabaird.green@gmail.com. Thank you. And yes, this blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.


One Response to “David Goodman: tapas chef”

  1. beau grace smith lorhke January 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Hi,I like the look of ur menu im working in a restaurant if you would like i have lots of good foods you would maybe be interested write back to my gmail lots of love beau

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